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Human Development Index



Human Development Index (HDI)


The United Nations (UN) have developed a scale to look at sustainable development. Called the Human Development Index, it takes into account:

  • Life expectancy at birth.

  • Education - as measured by the adult literacy rates and the average number of years people spend in full-time education.

  • Standard of living as measured by 'Purchasing Power Parity'. This is a standardised measure of income which takes into account price differences between countries.

A mathematical formula is used to calculate the HDI and these are published each year by the United Nations. The graph shows the HDI for different countries, taken from the 2004 UN report.

River market in Viet Nam



The Human Development Index (HDI) shows differences in the quality of life between countries.

Norway is ranked at the top of the 177 countries measured. The USA is 8th and the UK is 12th. Poverty in Ethiopia result in it being 170th out of 177.

The HDI scale runs from 0 to 1.

HDI of nations


Click here to go to the United Nations Human Development reports.